Gardening Exercise Day

young boy spending time with his grandfather in the vegetable garden

Every year on June 6 is National Gardening Exercise Day! While gardening is usually thought of as a productive way to grow beautiful plants and obtain tasty fruits and vegetables, few gardeners have ever considered the exercise one can get in the process of gardening:

  1. There are holes to be dug
  2. Bags and pots to be carried
  3. Weeds to be pulled
  4. Seeds to be planted
  5. Sprouts to be watered

These tasks exercise almost every muscle group in your body. There are many reasons why exercise is great for both our physical and mental wellbeing. It has shown to boost the immune system and even possibly slow aging!

The other great advantage of gardening exercise is that it can be tailored to all ages, from gentle potting and stretching, to the intense labor of heavy lifting. This means that anyone at any level can enjoy the incredible benefits by choosing whichever activities are most appropriate for them.

Before you go out to garden, first apply sunscreen and be sure to stretch. Even if your goal isn’t to work out and get exercise, it’s still a good idea. Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water while you work. Switch arms and alternate between standing, bending or kneeling throughout the day to prevent overuse or stiffness.

If you do not have a space of your own to use for gardening, there are lots of community gardens that have space where you can go to visit or lend a hand. Community gardens are a wonderful opportunity to make a real difference, cultivate connections that help a community not just grow fresh produce, but grow healthy and strong together.